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Ten Tips For People Injured On Commercial Property

If you slip and fall while you are lawfully on a business' premises, fall on an adjacent defective or icy sidewalk or trip on steps or in a business parking lot, you may have a claim for the injuries you suffered.

Here are a few tips to help you out.

  1. Do not be embarrassed if you fall or get hurt. Report the fall and what caused it. If you leave because you think that you will be OK and you are embarrassed, you will allow the defendant the opportunity to deny it ever happened. Ask the company representative to prepare a report.

  2. If you were injured and for whatever reason you did not report the accident, contact or have someone put the company on notice in writing as soon as possible. Make sure to keep a copy.

  3. Submit medical bills to your health insurance carrier to ensure prompt payment. Businesses generally have liability insurance that provides payment of some medical bills regardless of fault if you are hurt on its premises. Ask the business owner about payment of bills. If you get no cooperation, consult an attorney.

  4. One more tip about medical bills: Check the coverage contained in your insurance policy. You should know your deductible and copay amounts for medical bills. Keep track of the bills, what is paid and what you owe; it should not exceed your deductible and copay amount. You may want to have your attorney request that the health care provider accept a lien on any settlement or judgment he or she may obtain for you. Medical providers will sometimes agree and not turn the bill in for collection. If you have to pay any bill out-of-pocket, keep track of it to add to the recovery you want your lawyer to seek. Do not let the bills go into collection. It is bad enough you are hurt physically; stay out of trouble economically.

  5. If you are unable to return to work immediately due to your injuries, make sure you report it to your employer. Follow all procedures and policies. Get a note from your doctor advising that you are under his or her care, and have your doctor project when you may return to work. Provide the original to your employer and keep a copy. If your company is large enough and you have worked there long enough, the employer, in most situations, must hold your job or a comparable job for up to 12 weeks (without pay) under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Some employers have more liberal policies. Understand your rights, and keep your employer advised of your status. Do not add to your problems by being fired.

  6. If you lose income from being out of work due to your injuries, you may be entitled to New Jersey State Disability benefits (if you are out for more than one week). Contact your local unemployment disability office about applying for benefits. Your attorney may also be able to assist you in obtaining such benefits. Finally, keep track of your lost income — you may be able to recover it.

  7. Here is a tip about preserving evidence: If you fall on ice or snow, you or someone you know should take photographs of the scene, if possible, with a good camera before the ice and snow is cleared and melted. Likewise, if you fall because of uneven or defective sidewalks, steps or parking lots, take pictures before the scene is corrected. Your attorney may know of a professional photographer or investigator for such services.

  8. Likewise, if you have suffered visible bruises, lacerations or swelling, take photographs with a good camera and date them. Again, it may be best to have a professional take the photographs.

  9. If you fell on someone′s premises during the course of performing your job duties, you may have a workers' compensation claim.

  10. Finally, there are time limits to file a lawsuit in New Jersey for personal injuries. Do not sit on your rights; you may waive them. Contact an attorney familiar with personal injury law.

Injured? Call The Firm Today At 908-336-0311.

For more information from certified civil trial attorney Kevin Kovacs, or to schedule a free consultation at the Law Offices of Kevin Kovacs, Esq., in Somerville, call 908-336-0311, or contact the firm online.